- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
This engaging book probes the impact of two traumatic historical events, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Oklahoma City bombing, from a novel perspective. Sturken seeks to illuminate the transformation of the secular into the sacred, and the intersection of two cultures: that of mourning and that of consumerism. Like an archaeologist, Sturken (culture & communications, NYU) digs deep to uncover the symbolism contained in our material response to politically motivated violence. She offers a sophisticated and insightful analysis of what the treatment of the actual sites, now ruins, and the cultural production of souvenirs say about the psyche of the American consumer-citizen. The book is full of images exemplifying how the construction of post-tragedy national identity draws upon our notions of collective innocence, incorporating material culture in the quest for certainty and comfort in an uncertain and uncomfortable world. For example, our fear is soothed by the public presence of the Teddy Bear and the Stars and Stripes. With the terrorist as iconoclast, the memorial and the souvenir come to the emotional rescue. Readers will be fascinated by the social and political commentary buried in Sturken's appraisal of kitsch. A thought-provoking work; highly recommended.